The working dog is back in demand once again as farmers re-stock following the foot-and-mouth crisis.

Since the outbreak began more than 200 working dogs have been handed over to an animal welfare charity as farmers were forced to cull their flocks.

But now staff at The Border Collie Rescue Society, based in Richmond, North Yorkshire, are seeing an increase in demand for sheepdogs as more and more farms are re-stocked.

Throughout the crisis the charity tried to re-home as many dogs as it could, but because of their temperament the animals could not be sent to domestic homes.

Instead they were sent to foster homes before suitable farms were found. Meg, who was handed over to the charity by a shepherd in County Durham, gave birth to a litter of puppies before Christmas.

The new litter is seen as a symbol of better things to come for the beleaguered farming industry.